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Caloric restriction could help asthmatics, stroke victims

Caloric restriction could help asthmatics, stroke victims

Asthma sufferers may have a new low cost treatment option. A new study suggests restricting calories may be an effective method for treating asthma and other chronic diseases.

In work presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, found that caloric restriction may be useful in treating asthma, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease and certain forms of cancer.

In a previous study, Mattson found overweight women with a family history of breast cancer who ate 25 percent fewer calories than required to sustain their weight for six month had reduced levels of hormones and inflammation associated with breast cancer risk.

Other research done by Mattson and his colleagues found that overweight asthma sufferers who ate only 500 to 600 calories every other day reported better control of their symptoms and being able to breathe more easily after just eight weeks.

In addition, research on animals suggests caloric restriction can reduce neurological damage after a stroke, but only among young or middle-aged animals — the food technique may offer stroke benefits only at certain points in life.

But however promising all this is, Mattson warned that caloric restriction does have its limits, adding that for patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease, it may actually make the condition worse.

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